Cappadox Festival has reached 10 million people in four years
We are chatting with Nafiz Karadere, chair of the Pozitif Group, at the award-winning boutique hotel “Argos” in the Central Anatolian province of Cappadocia.
The boutique 51-room hotel, which architects Turgut Cansever and Gökşin Ilıcalı created 23 years ago, became part of the Doğuş Group about four years ago.
Karadere carries several titles in the Doğuş Group but our talk stretches to debates on other companies that the group owns as well. Before we move onto the Cappadox Festival, which began four years ago, and to the Pozitif Group, Karadere talks about the new vision of the Doğuş Group.
“Doğuş has chosen to grow in the service industry. Our chairman Ferit Şahenk wants to grow in areas that touch people directly. We can also say that those areas are the ones that serve as platforms for brand new experiences and adventures,” Karadere says.
A new trend: The experience economy
The areas that the Doğuş Group says it wants to grow in are these days dubbed “the experience economy.” For example, Bomonti Island, composed of a group of restaurants, bars and a renowned performance venue in Istanbul’s Bomonti district, is a prime example of this kind of project. Bomonti Island has only been fully open since 2017 and it has accommodated around one million visitors in that time.
Karadere is also the chairman of the Bomonti Island project. As he has several titles in the group, he is keenly aware of the new vision that the company is pursuing.
Returning to Cappadox, which is another project in the area of the “experience economy,” the idea of bringing people together in the unmatchable atmosphere of Cappadocia has been planned for years by the Pozitif Group. But as it is expensive to put together an outdoor project that includes gastronomy, music, modern art and more, it has taken a long time to be realized.
Cappadox: From dreams to reality
We are talking about an event that costs around eight million Turkish Liras, and Karadere said the project turned into substance after the Doğuş Group acquired 80 percent of the Pozitif Group.
Cappadox, which has been sponsored by Garanti, Volkswagen, Turkcell and Columbia, has accommodated around 35,000 attendees in four years.
Its concerts have been broadcast online on various platforms, reaching around 10 million people in the space of four years. This year from June 14 to 19, using the theme of “silence,” Cappadox covered a physically larger ground in Cappadocia. The number of events it included also surpassed last year, reaching 144.
Adding value to the regional economy
“From the start we have wanted to include the locals in the festival. University students, local people who helped set up the stands, shopkeepers and property-owners who we rented from have all been included in the process,” Karadere said.
The festival is expected to bring in 7.5 million liras to the region each year. Meanwhile, this year for the first time a free concert that the municipality broadcast using speakers was held.
“Cappadox is not a cheap festival. Considering the economic capacity of the locals we organized a public concert this year. We will do the same next year too,” Karadere said.